2020 World Day Against Cyber-Censorship : RSF compiles Digital Predator list, unblocks more censored websites

To mark World Day Against Cyber-Censorship on 12 March, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is unveiling a list of 20 Digital Predators of Press Freedom and announces that it is now unblocking access to a total 26 websites in the sixth year of its Operation Collateral Freedom. In September 2020, RSF unblocks three additional news sites blocked by the Belarusian government after the controversial results of the presidential elections of 9 August 2020. RSF has restored access to eight additional websites that have been blocked in their own country for publishing information about theCOVID-19 pandemic that did not toe the government line.

This list is not exhaustive but RSF has identified 20 Digital Predators of Press Freedom that pose a manifest danger to freedom of opinion and expression in 2020. Whether state offshoots, private-sector companies or informal entities, they use or facilitate harassment, state censorship, disinformation or surveillance with predatory effect on journalists and their work.

               >>> See the list of 20 digital predators <<<

Collateral Freedom: RSF foils website blocking in 18 countries

Predatory regimes that want to censor information are increasingly blocking access to news websites, to which RSF’s Operation Collateral Freedom responds by placing “mirrors” or duplicates of the blocked sites on international servers owned by Internet giants, where they are beyond the reach of censors.

In what is the sixth year of Operation Collateral Freedom, RSF is creating mirrors of four more websites, with the result that it is now unblocking access to a total of 34 sites that are blocked in their own countries – a total of 14 countries.

                >>> See the list of sites unblocked by RSF <<<

RSF will keep Operation Collateral Freedom going as long as funds are available. You can support this operation:

  • By sharing this information with the #CollateralFreedom hashtag and by drawing attention to the work of the blocked websites
  • By making a donation so that we can continue to fund this operation.

A virtual library

To help Internet users to circumvent censorship, RSF has also created a virtual library within the video game Minecraft, in which players can read articles by journalists who have been murdered, threatened or forced to flee abroad. This “Uncensored Library,” called “Bibliothèque libre” in French, contains books with articles that are censored in their country of origin. There are works by journalists from five countries (Egypt, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Vietnam) who have been banned, imprisoned, killed or forced to flee into exile. 

The Uncensored Library can be accessed via Minecraft by going to: visit.uncensoredlibrary.com

Launched by RSF in 2008, World Day Against Cyber-Censorship, also sometimes referred to as International Day for Online Freedom of Expression, aims to draw attention to violations of freedom of expression on the Internet throughout the world.